Month: January 2019

It is not to early to plan

Last week, my wife, Pat and I met our son and his wife for dinner.  As he is a sheriff’s deputy, he glanced at my car tags and asked if I knew my car tags were expired.  Yep, they sure were.

When I got home, I went on-line to renew it.  The Virginia DMV was kind enough to also show my driver’s license expires this Spring.  My horse trailer expires in February and my stock trailer’s State Inspection ran out on the 31st as well.
In our fast paced lives, we often overlook the details of routine things.  So, in this article, I thought I would reflect on some simple things that we do each year to get ready for that first trip the season.  

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Use Your Aids to Whisper, Not Shout

The rider’s aids are her tools to communicate with her horse. The “natural” aids, which she uses to respond to her horse, are her seat, legs, and hands. The rider’s seat, and especially her legs, controls two-thirds of the horse’s body from the wither back. Her hands control the forward one-third of the horse’s body including the shoulders, neck, and head. Let’s look at each of these important aids.

The Seat: The rider’s seat works as an aid to help the horse go forward or slow down. The seat works by applying weight into the saddle on the horse’s back according to what response the rider wants. She uses more weight in her seat for more response, less weight for a lighter response. The weight that the rider applies through her seat, on the saddle has two functions. It indicates to the horse her desire to go forward or slow down and helps him to accomplish these actions. I’ll explain more about the function of the seat in upcoming editions of this newsletter series.

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Emergency! The rein aids that keep you safe

Dear Julie,

I’ve been taking riding lessons every week for a few months (I used to ride when I was younger). The school I go to is very good—your horses are very fit and mostly well behaved. My class of 4-5 riders is working in an arena. In the last few weeks, I’ve noticed that the horses are getting a bit excitable and fast. I can control my horse at the beginning, but when it comes to cantering my horse is difficult to control.  He raises his neck and is ready to take off—especially when other horses are excited. I am reluctant to canter at all now. I feel nervous and out of control and my horse knows it. What’s the best way control my horse at the canter?

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A Horse, Of Course

Cold rain, snow, slush and mud…they’re all part of winter for a horse. And winter is here. (Even in the sunbelt, horse’s suffer some of winter’s wrath.)
Horses on their own take pretty good care of themselves even in a snow storm, but when they are “protected” by loving owners, the problems of “winter” neglect occur.

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